Cholesterol - There are two main groups of fat in the blood, cholesterol and triglycerides. Increased cholesterol may lead to arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), diabetes, thyroid, liver and pancreatic disease.
Triglycerides - This blood fat is also involved in arteriosclerosis, diabetes, thyroid, liver and pancreatic disease. They may be elevated in the 200-400 range if you have eaten within 10 hours of the blood draw. If your results are in this range and you did not fast, a repeat evaluation should be obtained.
HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) Cholesterol - This is the "good" fat-protein combination. The higher the value, the lower the risk of developing heart disease. HDL can be increased with regular aerobic exercise, monounsaturated fats such as olive and canola oils, and cessation of smoking. Mild use of alcohol (one or two glasses of wine per day) has been reported to increase HDL.
LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) Cholesterol - This is the "bad" fat-protein combination, and the lower the LDL the better. The higher the LDL, the higher the risk of developing heart disease. This level can be decreased with reduction in fat intake, weight control, and regular exercise. Because this value is calculated using the triglyceride result, fasting is important for an accurate LDL and triglyceride result.
VLDL (Very Low Density Lipoprotein) Cholesterol - This is the "bad" triglyceride. Elevation represents a risk of heart disease and/or pancreatitis.
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